Guilty or not? Closing Statements, Jury Deliberates in Father and Son’s Abilene ‘Mattress Murder’ Trial | KTAB
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Taylor County jury has been deliberating since Thursday afternoon, after just two full days of testimony in Aaron Howard’s murder trial. Michael Miller and his father, Johnnie Dee, are on trial for shooting Howard.
The case of an alley shooting has been said to gain local infamy since the father and son were arrested in September 2018. According to stories, the Millers and their alley neighbor, Howard, were arguing in the alley over a box spring thrown between their houses. As the arguments turned into a shouting match, Howard’s fiancee, Kara Box, pulled out her phone to film the fight.
What Howard’s partner couldn’t have predicted was the moment she saw Johnnie Dee reveal a gun and then Michael came out with a shotgun. At this time, Howard was unarmed. Father and son continued to argue with Howard, and he was later handed a baseball bat. At that point, Johnnie Dee shot Howard in the forearm, causing him to throw the bat. Johnnie Dee then shot Howard twice more as Michael shot him in the back of the neck. All of this was recorded by Box.
The issue in the Aaron Howard murder trial was not whether the Millers shot him, but whether or not it was self-defense.
After just two days of moving testimony, the state and defense rested Thursday morning.
During closing statements, the defense implored the jury to put themselves in the Millers’ shoes. The attorney showed the jurors a bat, reminding them of Howard’s 6’7″ stature.
While the defense said the state only called two witnesses – Kara Box and Justin Campbell, the attorney told the courtroom that those witnesses could not be the only reliable sources.
On the first day of the trial, Justin Campbell, a longtime friend of Howard’s, said his friend could be aggressive and intimidating at times. In conclusion, Justin shared, “Aaron had this bat in his hand. He went and swung it at this guy, this guy pulled the trigger.
The final defense argument to the jury was that this was a murder committed in the name of self-defense. The lawyer said if someone tries to seriously hurt themselves, you can use deadly force.
On the state side, the attorney asked the jury to also put themselves in Howard’s shoes and decide whether a baseball bat is capable of causing serious bodily harm in the way it was used.
Although the state said Howard was everything you wouldn’t want in a neighbor, it certainly wasn’t justified murder.
The jury is now in deliberation. Check back with this article for a verdict.